At The Think Tank, Newcastle, U.K., September 15, 2018

WALKING PAPERS (Live at The Think Tank, Newcastle, U.K., September 15, 2018)
Photo: Mick Burgess

The loss of key members Duff McKagan, back to Guns N’ Roses and drummer Barrett Martin unable to undertake the tour may have had a devastating impact on many bands but Seattle’s Walking Papers are far more resilient than that. Much of that is down to the wily nous of singer Jeff Angell and his cohort in crime, keyboardist Benjamin Anderson who between them have ensured a seamless transition between old and new. Not only do new bassist Dan Spalding and drummer Will Andrews add a kick to the rhythm section, Gregor Lothian also brings an added twist to the mix with some fine saxophone work while guitarist Tristan Hart Pierce laid down the brooding riffs and dynamic slide to create a heady cocktail of smouldering, groove heavy Blues.

Angell however, was the ace in the pack. With a voice one part the melodic angst of Bono and one part, the husky lived in gravel edged tones of Mark Lanegan and quite a voice it is. The wonderfully understated opener, Already Dead with its hypnotic beat and dreamy vocal lulled the crowd into a false sense of security when the serenity was shattered by some mazy slide work from Pierce as King Hooker took the show by the throat.

Into The Truth was spectacular with its huge Hammond organ soaked, bass heavy groove with Angell’s rasping vocals twisting and turning. The groove got even, deeper on The Whole World’s Watching and this was where Walking papers excelled.

Angell also impressed on the more laid-back material too. The Butcher may sound like a Thrash Metal riot but nothing could be further than the truth. The dark murder ballad just oozed class with Angell’s emotive vocals bringing the lyrics to vivid life all backed by Anderson’s haunting piano refrain. The salsa tinged A Place Like This also gave Angell’s sparkling voice the spotlight along with some smooth saxophone from Lothian.

With everyone all soothed and mellow Somebody Else slammed back into top gear while Hard To Look Away and Two Tickets and A Room brought the trademark groove back for good measure.

Review and Photos By Mick Burgess


  • Mick Burgess

    Mick is a reviewer and photographer here at Metal Express Radio, based in the North-East of England. He first fell in love with music after hearing Jeff Wayne's spectacular The War of the Worlds in the cold winter of 1978. Then in the summer of '79 he discovered a copy of Kiss Alive II amongst his sister’s record collection, which literally blew him away! He then quickly found Van Halen I and Rainbow's Down To Earth, and he was well on the way to being rescued from Top 40 radio hell!   Over the ensuing years, he's enjoyed the Classic Rock music of Rush, Blue Oyster Cult, and Deep Purple; the AOR of Journey and Foreigner; the Pomp of Styx and Kansas; the Progressive Metal of Dream Theater, Queensrÿche, and Symphony X; the Goth Metal of Nightwish, Within Temptation, and Epica, and a whole host of other great bands that are too numerous to mention. When he's not listening to music, he watches Sunderland lose more football (soccer) matches than they win, and occasionally, if he has to, he goes to work as a property lawyer.

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